Wednesday, February 27, 2008

President's Message, March 2008

Feeling lucky? You should--Puget Sound ASHRAE must be one of the luckiest organizations around.

I say this not because of our enthusiastic volunteers, or our swelling ranks, but because, for the second year in a row, our February volunteer event occurred in picture-postcard weather! You couldn't have scheduled a nicer day if you tried. Sunny, warm and dry.

Our volunteers and their families dug out countless weeds, and moved mountains of mulch tending a patch of the Washington Park Arboretum that borders the most popular trail in the park. It was a great time for all involved, spending the day out in the outdoors, getting a little hard work in, and feasting on a wonderful lunch furnished by Washington Air Reps. It was also gratifying having so many arboretum visitors stop to thank us for our efforts and ask us who we were. ASHRAE scored some brownie points with the community that day!

One unlucky event did occur, however. Jim Harrison's wife, Virginia, took a nasty tumble right as we were wrapping up and broke her ankle. We wish her a speedy recovery and thank her and Jim for their efforts.

Event organizers are furiously finalizing the last details of the upcoming EngineeringVision 2030 event scheduled for March 26th and 27th. For anyone serious about sustainable building design (and that seems to be just about everyone nowadays), this is a can't-miss event. World-renown presenters on the advanced engineering topics our industry is demanding are coming to our own backyard (Seattle U). The event will give attendees concrete, take-home information that can be applied immediately to projects reaching for sustainable goals. There will also be a mini product show focusing on the technologies featured in the presentations. Register today!

March is the month for our traditional joint meeting with SMACNA Western Washington. This year it is once again at the Seatac Marriot and will be on March 12th. SMACNA has brought in Ken Schmidt, Director of Communications for Harley-Davidson during their corporate turnaround in the mid-80's to late 90's. He brings a high-energy presentation on the power of communications and branding for any organization and for individuals, too. This promises to be a great event for business leaders and Harley riders alike!

On February 26th, Society President Kent Peterson visited Puget Sound and met for an informal lunch with interested members. Kent presented UW professor Ashley Emery a plaque in honor of his attainment of the grade of fellow in ASHRAE. After the presentation, Kent engaged the membership with a daunting, yet inspiring vision of the challenges that lay ahead for our industry. With energy security becoming less and less assured each year, and increasing attention by governmental and regulatory agencies on carbon emissions, great pressures are being brought to bear on our industry. However, what is highly encouraging is there is so much potential for improvement in our designs and practices. And ASHRAE is pushing the industry forward with their efforts in research, standards, design guides and other initiatives such as professional certifications. ASHRAE is so committed to this effort that they distributed 15,000 copies of their K-12 Advanced Energy Design Guide to school districts across the country, and are now distributing their advanced design guides for free over the internet!

As Kent said, this is a great, and very exciting time to be in ASHRAE. Our organization enjoys an enviable worldwide reputation, we are involved in a dynamic and ever-changing industry, and we occupy a very significant role in the effort to provide our children with a future as bright as the one we envision for ourselves!

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